Saturday, February 26, 2011

3 City Arts Magazine's "Best New Bands" Poll 2011

{3/12 - SRG Presents: Helms Alee, Absolute Monarchs, Victory and Associates at Comet Tavern, $8}

A couple weeks ago I was asked by City Arts Magazine founder Mark Baumgarten along with forty-one other bloggers, publicists, bookers, directors and label owners to contribute a list of the top five local bands that had the most impact on me in 2010 for a "Best New Seattle Bands" poll to be included in this months issue. Let's just say I whipped that list out real quick, an extremely easy task even though I could have easily filled 5 or more spots. My picks: Smooth Sailing, Grenades, Throne of Bone, Vultures 2012, and a late 2010 discovery but equally as impressive, Curse of the North. Any surprises there?

The poll came out last week with the release of the March edition of City Arts and the results were well...quite predictable. This town's music insiders love folk music, singer song-writers, and hip-hop but they also chose two of this blog's favorite local bands as well, both of which just so happen to be fronted by the über-talented Joel Schneider (Absolute Monarchs and My Goodness). I'll have to admit I was slightly bummed that neither made my list once I saw the results because both are definite favorites, but was relieved once I realized that by going with my gut instincts and choosing the bands I did, that ultimately had a bigger impact despite them not receiving enough votes to make the top 10. Lone warrior indeed.

My Goodness certainly had a major impact on me last year and the electrifying duo of Schneider and drummer Ethan Jacobsen are a sure runner up to my top 5. Absolute Monarchs would have been top 5 for sure but the task was to select 5 bands that had a major impact on me in 2010. Technically I discovered Absolute Monarchs in July 2009 when I saw their first ever live performance at Capitol Hill Block Party. They have since gained much popularity locally over the course of 2010, which is exactly what I predicted would happen when I called them a "sure to be local favorite" in my slightly off-based but astonished praise of the band following my first exposure (read here).  

Side Note: Oh to look back at the beginnings of SRG -- a sometimes frightening, sometimes enlightening experience -- the evolution of a blog can be an interesting thing.

Absolute Monarchs floored me from the beginning and a year and half later have done so time and time again including last weekend opening the mighty Red Fang. So kudos to Seattle for waking up and smelling the coffee burning on two of the cities best rock bands.

As for the rest of the poll, is what it is, results like I said completely predictable and honestly quite boring. Despite popular public belief concerning my musical tastes, bands do not have to be heavy to be good, but they certainly should be pushing boundaries in some way with the exception of purely and simply rocking a key factor -- The Moondoggies rock, Cave Singers rock, NightTrain rocks, Watch it Sparkle rocks, Police Teeth rocks, Visqueen rocks so on and so forth. None of the other bands on the list rock at all.

I am really proud to be apart of the contributors, as it's quite an impressive list of local music people including some folks that I truly admire such as Comet Tavern booker Michelle Smith and Verellen Amps namesake Ben Verellen. Next year I promise there will be more of us on the voters panel. I'll make that happen.

Check out the final results here or pick up the latest issue around town and see who voted and who they voted for here.

Words by Nik Christofferson



    1. No I think there from New Jersey!

  2. Thank you so much for this post. I do need to update my playlist and include songs from emerging bands. Honestly, I am not familiar with these groups so it would be awesome to come across incredible songs from them. Again, thank you for this share.



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